Racing up the hill, knowing that they will only have ten minutes left to eat lunch, and end up cursing the long the line at Subway or McDonalds; that is how several of the juniors and seniors who attend Moffat County High School go through the process of getting back to school after going out for lunch. With only thirty five minutes to get out of class, go to their vehicles, go get lunch and come back, many students don't even have time to eat half of their food before the bell rings. Some carry it with them and eat in the next class, or for the unlucky students who have a science class after lunch, don't eat at all.
A Bit Ridiculous
Generally it takes a student about five minutes to get out of class, drop their things at their locker, and go out to their vehicle. Then it takes about five to seven minutes to drive across town and back. Food usually takes about seven to ten minutes to get, accounting for the waiting in line, ordering, and waiting for it to come out.
Even with this speedy process, twenty two minutes are taken out of a students lunch time, leaving them with about eight to ten minutes left to eat. This is a bit ridiculous, considering the fact that even very fast eaters take about ten to fifteen minutes to eat a full meal. Sure, students could just try and hurry to get out of class, and maybe speed a bit to get to their food source, but I do believe that is illegal. It is very difficult for students to have the freedom to have an open campus lunch, and then be pressed to hurry back and forth to get something to eat. We are not Taz, folks. Students can't turn into a spinning tornado and rip across town and back in five seconds, however much we would like to.
Lunches at MCHS are approximately ten minutes shorter than average nutritional recommendation. According to The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management, students can sit down and eat in ten minutes, but it is not recommended because they say that it is not healthy. Later on in their studies of school lunches, several different observers noticed that the schools that have open campus lunches have an average of forty minutes. This accounts for travel time both to and from the students choice of a food source, plus and extra twenty five minutes to sit down and eat without inhaling their food.
Every Friday at MCHS we get out about an hour early from our usual schedule. That right there is an opening for an extended lunch. If there could be an extra five to ten minutes added onto our lunch every Friday, if only on Friday, to give students time to go out to lunch and socialize for a small time before getting back to school. Socializing may seem unimportant to some, but it is a large part in a student's life. Teens often find themselves getting caught up in a whirlwind of school, homework, work, and chores at home. With all of this piled up, they often feel like they are drowning in their work. Socializing gives teens time to relax and vent. Hanging out with friends, even for a short lunch, is better than getting buried in work constantly.
Taking more time to eat also cuts down on a problem that we have here in America. Obesity. The stomach takes about ten minutes to realize that it is full, and sending a message to the brain telling it that the stomach is full. If a student eats all of their food in ten minutes, it is possible that they could overeat, therefore putting more calories into their bodies than they should, and making them gain weight.